26 August 2010

A Hidden Gem

Sita Sings the Blues - Nina Paley

Being a film lover, someone who watches all the latest releases from DVD to cinema, checking out films that have been given high ratings to films with low ratings, and even using this site as an example of fascination and wonderment of the process and the entertainment factor of a movie, sometimes, you really find films that perhaps have not been given the limelight it deserves. And today, I’m here to showcase a film you may have never even heard of before: Sita Sings The Blues. And just to clarify, if you have heard of this film, i salute you for having great taste. An animation masterpiece which seems to take away from the heavy labour of creating animation that is meant to represent real life as much as possible, like films that use CGI to try to recreate real people, here animation is used in a way to tell a story in a different style, not recreate what we see every day. From the first ten minutes, you may wonder what type of animation it is, and the way it looks, coming off as something YouTube would of made or a young animator creating animations for his friends, but sticking through the film, you uncover something that crosses the fun and enchantment of Disney films, the sense of mystery and freedom only seen in Asian animations mixed with quirky humour and beautiful storytelling. It’s a great mix which leads to a contrasting piece that tells a common love story but using Indian folklore but through the medium of flash animation, something not done before or on this scale.

The film is told from different perspectives and in different forms, with four major featuring ones to be the main story: a legend told from the pages of Ramayana about the story of a prince who is followed by Sita, a woman who deeply cares for him, but the prince takes her for granted. That’s the basic storyline from which i followed, true, it’s hard to follow at the beginning but once the alternative version where the story is told in a modern context, and you begin to understand it. The second style is the alternative version which has a different animation style to the first section, and retells the story for the audience to understand better. The third style is where a group of people discuss the legend in a different way, making jokes and discussing the subject in a formal way, which leads to most of the jokes and the final and fourth way is where songs are used to retell the story in a music video-esque fashion. Here is also where some of the laughs appear along with some beautiful style and vivid colours. It’s defiantly something you’ll notice, the colours and patterns, it’s something so different but at the same time formulary.

A new type of animation and style i haven’t seen before that you might fall in love with, so go check it out and experience something different.


Simon Childs

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